REESE WITHERSPOON JOINS AVON FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN AND SAN FRANCISCO GENERAL HOSPITAL TO CELEBRATE 5TH ANNIVERSARY OF AVON COMPREHENSIVE BREAST CENTER
Progress in Breast Cancer Research and Care in San Francisco
Award-Winning Actress Salutes Breast Cancer Partnerships
May 11, 2009 San Francisco, CA /PRNewswire/ — Reese Witherspoon, award-winning actress and Honorary Chairman of the Avon Foundation for Women, today joined area breast cancer experts, survivors and Avon Foundation for Women leaders for a day of events to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Avon Foundation Comprehensive Breast Center at the San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, and to salute critical partnerships that are making progress possible in breast cancer research and care. The work is especially meaningful since San Francisco has an unusually high incidence of breast cancer and the Bay Area has been a priority for the Avon Foundation, which has awarded grants totaling more than $30 million in the region since 2001 to find solutions to reduce incidence rates and improve patient care.
At today's event, held at SFGH, updates on the work of the Avon Comprehensive Breast Center, breast cancer medical research and the Love/Avon Army of Women were presented by Dr. Judith Luce, Director of Oncology Services at San Francisco General Hospital and Director of the Avon SFGH Breast Cancer Center of Excellence; Dr. Thea Tlsty, Director of the Center for Translational Research for Molecular Genetics of Cancer at USCF; and Dr. Susan Love, president of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and director of the Love/Avon Army of Women. To lend personal support, Ms. Witherspoon signed up for the Love/Avon Army of Women, a groundbreaking initiative with the goal of recruiting one million women to partner with breast cancer researchers to determine the causes and prevention of breast cancer.
Ms. Witherspoon also toured the Avon Comprehensive Breast Center at SFGH with Dr. Lori Strachowski, Medical Director of the Center, for a first hand look at the progress that has been made in access to breast cancer screening and care in San Francisco. Ms. Witherspoon also spent time with five local breast cancer survivors who shared their stories of survival thanks in part to the quality care provided by the Center and SFGH. The women included San Francisco resident Rosaura Recendez, who completed chemotherapy last week, and Mara Langer of San Mateo, two-time breast cancer survivor and a repeat walker in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer San Francisco.
Ms. Witherspoon ended her day by meeting with top fundraisers of the Avon Walk San Francisco and then kicked off a training walk for several hundred walkers who are preparing for this year's event on July 11-12.
"It was truly a privilege to share this day with those who will bring us closer to a world without breast cancer - the extraordinary scientists and doctors who provide research and care, the Avon Walkers who raise critical funds, and the breast cancer survivors whose stories provide inspiration," stated Ms. Witherspoon. "As a woman, a mother and the Honorary Chairman of the Avon Foundation, I am grateful on behalf of the women who are being helped today, and the future generations who will benefit tomorrow."
"We are proud to join with Dr. Luce to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Avon Comprehensive Breast Center as well as the critical work of our partners such as Dr. Love and Dr. Tlsty, who are making progress towards unlocking the key to breast cancer," said Carol Kurzig, President of the Avon Foundation for Women. "We are delighted that Reese Witherspoon was able to share this special occasion. We will continue to support access to screening and care, but our goal is to eradicate breast cancer and we hope, as Dr. Love believes, we can do it in our lifetime."
Since being named Avon Foundation Honorary Chairman in 2007, Reese Witherspoon has been featured in Public Service Announcements; traveled to Japan and Brazil; participated in Avon International Women's Day events at the United Nations and in Washington, D.C.; and served as a special guest at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Washington, DC in 2008. Through her work with the Avon Foundation for Women, Ms. Witherspoon turns a spotlight on the causes of domestic violence and breast cancer, and helps raise much needed funds and awareness.
About the Avon Foundation for Women
The Avon Foundation for Women, a 501(c)(3) public charity, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women and their families, and today brings this mission to life through a focus on breast cancer and domestic violence. The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade launched in 1992 and has now reached 55 countries, raising awareness and funds for access to care and finding a cure for breast cancer, with a focus on the medically underserved. The Speak Out Against Domestic Violence initiative was launched in 2004 and has expanded to 45 countries to support awareness, education, community outreach, direct service programs and prevention of domestic violence, with a new focus on access to justice for victims. Through 2008, Avon global philanthropic efforts have raised and awarded more than $660 million worldwide. For information, visit www.avonfoundation.org.
About the San Francisco General Hospital
The San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center provides a full complement of inpatient, outpatient, emergency, skilled nursing, diagnostic, mental health and rehabilitation services for adults and children, regardless of their ability to pay, and serves 100,000 patients a year. It is the largest acute inpatient and rehabilitation hospital for psychiatric patients in the city. The Avon Comprehensive Breast Center at SFGH is a free standing facility on the campus of SFGH that provides comprehensive, state-of-the-art breast care services. The Center was created in 2003 with a $10-million gift with funds raised through the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer San Francisco. Since opening, the Avon Center and its Mobile Mammography Van have provided more than 34,000 screening mammograms and more than 2,000 diagnostic follow up services.
About San Francisco General Hospital Foundation
San Francisco General Hospital Foundation (SFGHF) is an independent not-for-profit corporation 501(c)(3) that provides fund-raising support to San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (SFGH). The mission of the Foundation is to augment public funding by raising private support to further improve patient care and comfort at the Hospital. This vital funding allows SFGH to continue its long history of providing quality health care to San Francisco and the Greater Bay Area. Some of the programs funded wholly or in part by the Foundation include the Avon Comprehensive Breast Care Center, ACE Unit (Acute Care for Elders), Orthopaedic Trauma Institute, the Trauma Center, The Children's Fund, Women's Health Initiative, Cancer Awareness Resources Education (C.A.R.E.), Last year, the Foundation raised over $8.5 million in private individual gifts and corporate and foundation grants. For more information, visit www.sfghf.net.